Meet the F-21!

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marsavian

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Unread post01 Mar 2019, 21:31

One benefit of using new F-16 technology for India would be that LMT would know exactly how to jam old F-16 technology ;). Throw in a US AESA ban for Pakistan F-16 and this proposal might fly especially if you give them export options too.
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weasel1962

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Unread post02 Mar 2019, 03:13

The claims that the Mig-21 has shot down an F-16, even if untrue, has already cemented minds and perceptions at least on the Indian side, that the F-16 cannot perform. To acknowledge that that is incorrect would be for the Indians to acknowledge that they have engaged in propaganda or media manipulation. Imagine if the Indians do announce an F-21 deal today, that's going to be a media and public outcry why they are buying a plane that got shot down by the plane that it is replacing...Not going to happen.

Also, there's going to be a backlash how come the US didn't do more to stop Pakistan from using their F-16s. That helps because the argument is that the US won't stop the Indians either. But people will focus on the negatives rather than the positives. On the flip side, we see AIM-120s fired at Indian aircraft. The Indian Government stance has painted the MRCA into a corner. The only hope for Americans is that the MRCA decision gets delayed and people forget after a longer period of time.
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Unread post02 Mar 2019, 13:23

Nothing here is accidental.
If Indians really shoot down the Viper they'd present an evidence long ago and the discussion would be over. Speculations have no chance of survieing in the face of evidence UNLESS the point is to keep speculations going.
A new Myth is about to be born. Maybe a new religion. Bisonism. A holly MiG-21 defeated a snake of Devil.

Surely it make LM trying more to win the contract
What not to like about that? ;) (from the Indian point of view...)
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 06:19

No amount of "trying" will help when the customer regards the product as "snake of devil".
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 12:51

Duno man. Id rather like to have snake of devil on my side than have it as an enemy
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madrat

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 14:45

The F-16 story screams of deflection and misdirection to cover-up something of an embarrassment. I cannot fully digest this IAF pilot digressing Su-30MKI to MiG-21 choice. As a member of his cast he had big political ties. He's equivalent to John McCain being a POW during Vietnam.
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icemaverick

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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 22:26

What cast is he? What political ties did he have? Are you saying he wasn’t flying a MiG-21? Because the wreckage clearly seems to show a MiG-21. I’d assume just like the USAF, IAF pilots do tours in different aircraft. Some pilots go from flying F-16s to drones. It’s not inconceivable that a pilot could from a better platform to a lesser one.
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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 05:54

That's pure speculation on my part that his moving to the Bison doesn't make practical sense. He went from flying the pride of the IAF to flying the dinosaur. The guy isn't some blue collar hick that found himself in a job of flying airplanes. The role of a pilot is very prestigious, but what aircraft he flies also bears a strong relationship to his family's political ties. The guy didn't get an A to B drop, he went more like an A to a D.
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icemaverick

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 16:06

So are you saying that he was in fact flying an Su-30MKI? The Pakistanis have shown the wreckage and it’s pretty clearly a MiG-21. Also, what cast is he that afforded him so many political connections as you seem to think he has? As I’ve said, USAF pilots go from flying F-16s to drones all the time. It’s not uncommon at all for pilots to be downgraded....it’s a very competitive job.

What makes you think that this guy couldn’t have been reassigned to a different squadron? According to Col Fornoff from the famous Su-30MKI Red Flag video, most of the guys on the Su-30MKI came up from the MiG-21. It’s entirety possible he did a tour or two on the MKI and then got reassigned back to the Bison.

I think your speculation is entirety baseless.
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tjodalv43

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 16:25

icemaverick wrote: As I’ve said, USAF pilots go from flying F-16s to drones all the time. It’s not uncommon at all for pilots to be downgraded.


So I have nooo idea how the Indian Air Force does things, but I want to point out that this is an overstatement. Back in the TAMI-21 days it was true but for the past many years it would take special circumstances (medical, family, etc.) for a qualified F-16 pilot or really any 11F to TX to RPAs. The most you’d get “downgraded” these days would be IFF or maybe T-38s in UPT or black T-38s, which is really only a downgrade if you didn’t want it and your next assignment will probably be back to gray jets if that’s what you ask for.
Last edited by tjodalv43 on 08 Mar 2019, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 16:31

weasel1962 wrote:The claims that the Mig-21 has shot down an F-16, even if untrue, has already cemented minds and perceptions at least on the Indian side, that the F-16 cannot perform. To acknowledge that that is incorrect would be for the Indians to acknowledge that they have engaged in propaganda or media manipulation. Imagine if the Indians do announce an F-21 deal today, that's going to be a media and public outcry why they are buying a plane that got shot down by the plane that it is replacing...Not going to happen.

Also, there's going to be a backlash how come the US didn't do more to stop Pakistan from using their F-16s. That helps because the argument is that the US won't stop the Indians either. But people will focus on the negatives rather than the positives. On the flip side, we see AIM-120s fired at Indian aircraft. The Indian Government stance has painted the MRCA into a corner. The only hope for Americans is that the MRCA decision gets delayed and people forget after a longer period of time.


F-16 can't perform? Quite the contrary...

Let's look at the F-16/SU-30MKI matchup.

The Indians themselves have said SU-30's were in the mix. They also confirmed their SU-30's were locked onto "multiple times" but evaded all ARMAAM's (thus, the aircraft that locked onto them had to be F-16's). Even if that latter part about evading AMRAAM's is true, it was a poor showing. Their best fighter was on the defensive and fighting for its life against F-16's. That wasn't supposed to happen.

Unless and until F-16 wreckage is produced, this claim of a Mig-21 downing it is dubious IMO. If anything, the F-16's stock has risen, given its performance vs. India's best.
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icemaverick

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 17:36

mixelflick wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:The claims that the Mig-21 has shot down an F-16, even if untrue, has already cemented minds and perceptions at least on the Indian side, that the F-16 cannot perform. To acknowledge that that is incorrect would be for the Indians to acknowledge that they have engaged in propaganda or media manipulation. Imagine if the Indians do announce an F-21 deal today, that's going to be a media and public outcry why they are buying a plane that got shot down by the plane that it is replacing...Not going to happen.

Also, there's going to be a backlash how come the US didn't do more to stop Pakistan from using their F-16s. That helps because the argument is that the US won't stop the Indians either. But people will focus on the negatives rather than the positives. On the flip side, we see AIM-120s fired at Indian aircraft. The Indian Government stance has painted the MRCA into a corner. The only hope for Americans is that the MRCA decision gets delayed and people forget after a longer period of time.


F-16 can't perform? Quite the contrary...

Let's look at the F-16/SU-30MKI matchup.

The Indians themselves have said SU-30's were in the mix. They also confirmed their SU-30's were locked onto "multiple times" but evaded all ARMAAM's (thus, the aircraft that locked onto them had to be F-16's). Even if that latter part about evading AMRAAM's is true, it was a poor showing. Their best fighter was on the defensive and fighting for its life against F-16's. That wasn't supposed to happen.


“Fighting for its life” is pure speculation. What range were the AMRAAM shots taken at? Evading them might have been easy. For all you know, those shots were taken at the extreme end of the AIM-120’s range, making their hit probability very low. It could be argued that the Flankers didn’t want to waste their missiles on low probability shots. Besides, the AMRAAM probably has a better real world range than the R-77 carried by the Sukhois.

Also, it could also be argued that the F-16s had a poor showing since they had multiple shots and could only bag a Vietnam era fighter. They also didn’t seem to strike any ground targets of value, with the Pakistanis claiming that was intentional and the Indians claiming it was because they successfully repelled the attack.

Unless and until F-16 wreckage is produced, this claim of a Mig-21 downing it is dubious IMO. If anything, the F-16's stock has risen, given its performance vs. India's best.


If getting a lock and firing on an enemy jet is evidence of a good showing, then the MiG-21 had a good showing too. It’s a 1960s era jet that apparently got a lock on an F-16 and at least got a shot off on a defensive Viper. It’s probable that the Wing Commander was on the offensive and pursuing a jet across the border.

Look, I get that this is F-16.net. The Viper is my all tome favorite fighter jet. But we really don’t know many details at all about what went down. The only confirmed kill is a MiG-21.
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Mar 2019, 16:00

It's a pretty safe bet that F-16's didn't strike any targets of value because they weren't used in the "strike" role. If they were, they would have crossed the LOC into Pakistan. A no no, given US rules on employing the aircraft. Far more likely they were flying CAP within Pakistan's borders, looking to bag any pursuing Indian jets going after the egress strike package.

Personally, I feel the eyewitness reports of 2-3 parachutes as the best indicator multiple jets went down. Who's those jets were, will probably be debated for some time. For my $, the Indians came out on the losing end of this one (air to air wise).

1.) There were earlier Indian reports (later retracted) of an SU-30MKI shot down
2.) There was confirmation by India SU-30MKI's were in the mix
3.) There was confirmation by India 4-5 AMRAAM's were fired at its SU-30MKI's
4.) India claims all SU-30MKI's dodged the AMRAAM's and returned to base
5.) India also claims an F-16 was downed (no wreckage, no pilot)
6.) 1 confirmed kill of an Indian Mig-21, pilot captured. Accounts vary between an F-16 or JF-17 Thunder made the kill

Both sides have lied/spun their news to make themselves look good. If nothing else changes though, I'd say the PAK got the better of them. As it stands, they're a lot smaller force with much less funding.

I have no dog in this hunt. In fact, I like the Flanker even more than the F-16. But the evidence as I see it is that the Flanker didn't perform as advertised. Only the Indian's know for sure.

It will be interesting to see if they buy F-16IN's, or more Russian jets in the near future - that's for sure.

EDIT: Then there's this...

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Opposition of playing politics over the Rafale deal, saying the entire country was now feeling the need of these fighter planes.

“The country has felt the shortage of Rafale jets. Today, India is asking in one voice what could have happened if we had Rafale. First selfish policies and then politics over the Rafale deal have harmed the nation,” Modi said at the India Today Conclave in the national capital."

When your PM is crowing about "what could have been" if they had Rafale's, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the showing your air force put up....
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icemaverick

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Unread post10 Mar 2019, 04:07

mixelflick wrote:It's a pretty safe bet that F-16's didn't strike any targets of value because they weren't used in the "strike" role. If they were, they would have crossed the LOC into Pakistan. A no no, given US rules on employing the aircraft. Far more likely they were flying CAP within Pakistan's borders, looking to bag any pursuing Indian jets going after the egress strike package.


I think you meant LOC into India.

It was already a no no to use AMRAAMs against India and that didn't seem to stop them. The feds are actually investigating whether or not Pakistan used F-16s in the mission. The Indians maintain that the F-16 was used and apparently the MiG-21 that got shot down was pursuing an F-16. So it is entirely possible that the F-16 was used in the strike role.

Personally, I feel the eyewitness reports of 2-3 parachutes as the best indicator multiple jets went down. Who's those jets were, will probably be debated for some time. For my $, the Indians came out on the losing end of this one (air to air wise).


Yes, of that there is little doubt. The Pakistanis have a confirmed MiG-21 kill and a captured pilot. The Indians have no confirmed kills.

1.) There were earlier Indian reports (later retracted) of an SU-30MKI shot down


There were early reports right at the beginning when the information was only getting out. Were there any official Indian government sources that acknowledged a Flanker loss? The IAF has officially stated that no Su-30s were lost.

If we're going to play this game, the Pakistanis claimed they had two pilots in custody and that one was even in the hospital. This wasn't just a media report, that was an official spokesman. Who was the other pilot? The Indian fanboys seem to think it was a Viper driver.

As you said, there is a lot of misinformation and propaganda surrounding this incident. Yes, the Pakistanis may indeed have shot down a Flanker. It's also possible that the Indians shot down an F-16. But judging the relative performance of the F-16 and Su-30 is pure speculation.

2.) There was confirmation by India SU-30MKI's were in the mix
3.) There was confirmation by India 4-5 AMRAAM's were fired at its SU-30MKI's
4.) India claims all SU-30MKI's dodged the AMRAAM's and returned to base


The Su-30MKI's primary mission was to stop the strike package. It was not their goal to engage F-16s on the other side of the border. India and Pakistan both acknowledge that no targets were hit. The Indians claim it's because the strike package had to turn tail and run while the Pakistanis claim that they intentionally didn't hit anything of value.

In that sense, the Su-30MKI achieved its mission. The Pakistanis failed to achieve air superiority. At best they managed air parity and at worst, they were quickly chased out of Indian airspace. Firing 4-5 AMRAAMs from the other side of the border isn't any indication of success. In fact one could argue that it was a failure since there is no evidence that these AMRAAMs hit any Flankers.

5.) India also claims an F-16 was downed (no wreckage, no pilot)


Yup and no wreckage or pilot for any Su-30s either.

6.) 1 confirmed kill of an Indian Mig-21, pilot captured. Accounts vary between an F-16 or JF-17 Thunder made the kill


Some accounts also claim it was a SAM. Who knows? It's probably an F-16 because one of the pilots who was credited with a kill is an F-16 pilot but I guess it's possible he got reassigned to JF-17s.

The MiG-21 charged across the border and the Indians claim that it was in pursuit of an F-16. They even claim it hit the F-16 with an AA-11. Is it true? Who knows? But that's just as speculative as the claim that a Flanker was hit.

Both sides have lied/spun their news to make themselves look good. If nothing else changes though, I'd say the PAK got the better of them. As it stands, they're a lot smaller force with much less funding.


I agree that they got the better of them in that they got a MiG-21 kill. But one small engagement doesn't really say a whole lot. All we know is that the Pakistanis launched a strike mission into India and they were confronted by the IAF. In the process a 4th gen fighter apparently shot down a 3rd gen....not a huge surprise. The MiG-21 is already widely derided as a "flying coffin" in India.

I have no dog in this hunt. In fact, I like the Flanker even more than the F-16. But the evidence as I see it is that the Flanker didn't perform as advertised. Only the Indian's know for sure.


I don't have a dog in this hunt either. I'm not a Flanker fanboy. You've probably seen my posts in the PAK FA thread. I think the Russians have fallen far behind the West and the Chinese will soon surpass them in the fighter game. But these aren't cutting edge F-16s we're talking about here.

What should the Flanker have done to show that it performed as advertised? Should it have taken out 2 F-16s? If the Indian account is to believed, the Pakistanis' strike was utterly unsuccessful because they were chased off by Flankers, Mirages and even MiG-21s.

It will be interesting to see if they buy F-16IN's, or more Russian jets in the near future - that's for sure.


The F-16IN is a far more advanced bird than what the Pakistanis have. It would seem to be a pretty good buy for them. As an F-16 fanboy, I hope they do buy it because it will keep the Viper in service for a long time. But, politics is the big question here.

The Rafale is a good jet but it's very expensive for what you get. The F-16IN would be cheaper and LM is offering them "Make in India" opportunities with the package. Plus, it's a single engine jet. India doesn't seem super keen on a follow on order of Rafales.

It's quite clear that the Indians are not super impressed with the latest Russian offerings. They ditched the PAK FA. They are willing to spend significantly more money for the Rafale than they would for the Su-30MKI or any other Flanker variant. Obviously they wouldn't do that if they didn't think it was worth it.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Opposition of playing politics over the Rafale deal, saying the entire country was now feeling the need of these fighter planes.

“The country has felt the shortage of Rafale jets. Today, India is asking in one voice what could have happened if we had Rafale. First selfish policies and then politics over the Rafale deal have harmed the nation,” Modi said at the India Today Conclave in the national capital."


Yup.The guy who has been aggressively lobbying for the Rafale for 3 years used this opportunity to lobby for the Rafale. His political opponents are alleging corruption in the Rafale deal and have tried to stall it. What else would you expect him to say?

Look, my point is that the only thing we can conclude from this with any certainly is that there was a confrontation between IAF and PAF jets that resulted in the loss of a MiG-21. Whether or not other jets were lost is unknown. What exactly brought down the MiG-21 is unknown. What exactly the Pakistani jets were targeting is unknown. How the Su-30s and F-16s performed relative to one another is unknown.

You could be right, perhaps the Flankers got waxed by the F-16s. But it's also possible the Flankers chased the F-16s right out of India and even the old MiG-21 gave them all they could handle.

I'm going to wait for the facts to be revealed before drawing conclusions.
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Unread post12 Mar 2019, 01:30

If PAF F-16s had struck anything or used in the strike, the Indians will be up in arms. Pieces of Mk-82 serials will be floating around the web by now. Too much fake news, I'd rather not use imagination.
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